Health coach and mother-of-two, Brenda Janschek knows what it means to struggle with a bad day, especially as like many of us she works from home where the lines between the two parts of our lives can blur.
According to Brenda, when you’ve had a terrible day the best thing you can do is take a step back and draw a line in the sand between your work and home life.
Here are her top five tips guaranteed to leave you with a happier face for your loved ones at the end of a long day.
1. Vent to the right person
Call a friend or business associate whenever you need to. It helps remove all the pent up tension before you get home, so it is less likely you’ll snap at your loved ones.
2. Create a buffer between work and home time
If you can, choose to take ten, fifteen or ideally 30 minutes to make that transition between work and home easier, by creating some time and space just for you. For me what works is conscious deep breathing; this stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps to quiet my stress response. Others prefer to get outside into the backyard to ‘earth’ themselves. Put your feet on the grass or the sand and just connect to the ground.You could also take a short walk around the block, have a cup of tea or simply do nothing but savour the stillness.
3. Make a conscious decision to leave your bad day behind you
This can be really tough. What helps me to do it is to say some mantras or practise self talk. I encourage my clients to use phrases like: “My family is more important than my work and I am grateful to have them in my life,” Or, “Even though I feel stressed I choose not to let it overwhelm me.” Or, “I say no to stress and yes to calm.” These simple words can help you draw a line in the sand between the two parts of your day.
4. Focus on and appreciate the little things right in front of you
Bring yourself into the moment. Science shows that if you can find little things to appreciate about the day it can have a strong positive effect about how you feel. Make eye contact with your kids when you pick them up, listen to what they say and appreciate that moment with them. This helps to put the day in perspective. You could also play some music and appreciate that, and this has the added effect of helping to shrug off your bad mood. Making dinner can be also be grounding; I pour myself a small glass of wine and focus on the food I am making for my family.
5. Eat a square or two of dark chocolate (must be 70% +)
There is compound in chocolate that releases serotonin and dopamine, feel good hormones that reduce your stress hormone cortisol. Enjoy mindfully!